Curly Leach Lives on the Edge of Society and Doesn't Believe in Money


May 4 2021, Updated 2:40 p.m. ET

These days, there are plenty of shows that specifically cater to audiences who want to learn about people who live atypical lives in America. Life Below Zero: Port Protection, which airs on National Geographic, is one show that knows how to reveal unusual truths about a specific set of Americans to its audience. The show has picked up a loyal following, and some in that group are wondering what happened to Curly Leach, one of the show's central figures. 

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What is 'Port Protection' about?

Port Protection follows the resident of Port Protection, Alaska, an extremely small village in rural Alaska that has fewer than 100 residents. In profiling them, the show digs into their rugged, isolationist way of life, set against incredibly harsh conditions. The residents of the town live without roads, law enforcement, or any other modern accouterments. They have chosen to live on the edge, where things can get dangerous fast. 

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Although the show takes time to look at the lives of many of the town's residents, Port Protection does highlight some residents more than others. Curly Leach is one of the town's residents that is a regular focus of the show. Curly doesn't believe in money and instead relies on trading in order to get what he needs. In Port Protection, his primary responsibilities are fishing and collecting firewood.

What happened to Curly on 'Port Protection'?

Although different people are featured every week, there's been no indication that anything happened to Curly. Not only are cast members often exposed to blisteringly cold temperatures and other harsh elements, but they also often come across natural predators who have largely vacated more populated areas. 

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Nothing has happened to Curly yet, but that certainly doesn't mean he doesn't put himself in danger. The people who live in Port Protection are better at survival than any average American, but that doesn't mean they're impervious to threats. The lives these people have chosen to live expose them to enormous risk on a constant basis. 

Case-in-point, fellow show star Gary Muehlberger, who was confirmed to have died in a fire that consumed his home in early March 2021. Clearly, the lifestyle of those in Port Protection is one constantly assessing risk and reward.

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Source: Twitter

How old is Curly? The star has never actually shared his age with viewers.

Much like other aspects of his life in Port Protection, Curly has opted to keep even the most basic information about himself a secret. This even includes his birthday, which is unavailable through any public records online. The only available information about Curly outside of what is seen on the show is that he registered as a Republican voter on March 14, 1996, in Alaska, per local voting records.

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Other cast members on the show have faced intense danger; one was mauled by a grizzly bear.

Before Port Protection even started airing, Sue Aikens, who has been living in Alaska for decades, was mauled by a grizzly bear while living in isolation in an area with 83 tagged grizzlies. Sue sustained serious injuries, but they didn't do much to shake her belief that she was living in the right place. "You're never more alive than when you're on the edge," she said. 

Although the lives of the people in Port Protection may seem crazy to viewers who are watching from the comfort of their living rooms, they're clearly the lives these people set out to lead. Curly, Sue, and the rest of the town's residents only have themselves and a small group of neighbors to rely on for survival. It's a way of life that's become exceedingly rare in the 21st century, but it's one that they seem to value immensely. 

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